Best ever, says Fergie
Perhaps a touch of Christmas cheers had settled over the Manchester United training ground last week or perhaps Sir Alex Ferguson had simply been caught up in the season of giving.
Whatever his motives, especially in the light of two successive League results that, in relative terms, amount to a United crisis, the praise Ferguson heaped upon his current United squad was lavish and unfettered.
At various stages in recent seasons, Ferguson has often referred to his sides as being the best United squads of his stewardship, but that assessment has been upwardly revised in the wake of the opening five months of the current season.
This, he claims, is not only the best United team of his 14-year reign, but the best United team ever, a view that is apparently shared by Sir Bobby Charlton, current football club director and one of the inspirational figures of the 1968 Sir Matt Busby European Cup winning side, an eclectic group of talent that many would still honour with the ‘best ever’ tag. The present side also, Ferguson controversially suggests, eclipses the earlier Busby teams, including the 1958 ‘Babes’, simply because the Munich disaster robbed that side of the chance to fulfil their enormous potential.
‘This is the best side this club has ever had,’ said Ferguson. ‘I have spoken to Bobby about this a couple of times and he probably shares that opinion.
‘It is difficult to compare eras. But the number of games they have got, the media profile they have nowadays, these players handle it very well. The statistics point to that also. They have surpassed the ’68 team. The ’58 team, no one knows. That probably would have been the greatest team ever, but no one knows.
‘The point about this team is that it is not me that has to make the decisions about their place in football history. They will Amancio Prada Prada do that themselves. If they keep that momentum going, keep winning, eventually people will say it’s a terrific team.
‘At the moment there will still be some discerning, reluctant voice about how well they have done. The important thing, the vital ingredient, is that hunger they have got, wanting to achieve. That’s what pleases me. And when you have seen them growing up together. It’s terrific.’
Ferguson’s view is one that is certain to spark debate among both United and football fans in general.
Traditionally, it has been deemed almost sacrilegious at Old Trafford and Authentic Prada Handbags Online its environs to suggest that a line-up including the ‘holy trinity’ of Best, Law and Charlton could be eclipsed by any of their successors.
Yet, as Ferguson points out, the bare statistics support his claim emphatically. Sir Matt Busby won two League titles, the FA Cup and, of course, the European Cup Authentic Prada Clutch in a six-season period from 1963-68. In the eight seasons since Ferguson led United to the Premiership title, he has amassed six championships, three FA Cups, the 1999 European Cup and Inter-continental championship later the same year.
Whatever the arguments about the relative merits of the domestic game in the Sixties and Nineties, in terms of pure volume Ferguson’s teams have shown a thirst and desire for success far superior to that displayed by their predecessors.
As Irving Berlin said, ‘The toughest thing about being a success is that you’ve got to keep on being a success,’ and it is this aspect of United’s continued dominance that gives their manager the most pleasure. ‘I use the analogy that some people just want to go on a foreign holiday once in their life, they want to go to Spain to say they have been there and come back. That’s it,’ said Ferguson.
‘My players want to win, Authentic Prada Outlet Online Uk they have great pride, they are hungry. The hunger they have got is nothing to do with putting bread on the table or getting £1 million in the bank. It is about trying to achieve things click cg, and then strive for other things. They have been great that way.
‘You always hope there is a percentage, an inch of improvement to come. That is the way life is. We have got to be like that, it’s a moving bus, we can’t wait for people.
‘I think the maturity this team has shown is the main reason for that. The players have grown up together, it’s a good team now, a really good team.
‘The team spirit has got better. They have Black Leather Prada Milano Purse forged a lot of friendships that are going to last, there is a good spirit in the dressing room. Even when a player is left out, they are sharing in his disappointment, because they are friends.
‘And if a player is left out, he is supporting the player who has got his position. Agatha Ruiz Dela Prada Official Website I think that is unusual in modern football.’
Of course, the timing of Ferguson’s comments, coming after an uncharacteristically sloppy 3-3 draw at Charlton and their first home league defeat in two years against Liverpool, could have been more appropriate.
A league title race that looked as interesting as a Christmas TV schedule a few short weeks ago has suddenly been transformed into a contest of US presidential proportions, so desperate are sections of the media to present Arsenal’s five-point deficit as cause for nail-biting drama and tension. If the second half of the season is to provide United with more obstacles than the first, it is a challenge Authentic Prada Fairy Bag Sale Ferguson and his players will relish. Authentic Prada Gauffre Bag
‘I Agatha Ruiz Dela Prada E Shop think the competition is a good thing for us. The important thing about the last two results is it brings the focus on winning all the time,’ said Ferguson.
‘If complacency sets in in March or April it is difficult to get it back. This has been a nice reminder that we’re going to have to work as normal to win this league, the challenge could come from anywhere.
‘After New Year we will have a good indication of where the main Are Prada Nylon Bags Worth The Money challenges are coming from, by the halfway stage. If we can be in first place on New Year’s Day when we play West Ham, we will have a big chance then.
‘As chasing teams, I don’t think you can ever give up on these things. Look at ’98 when we were 12 points ahead of Arsenal and they won the league from us. You can’t say for certain.
‘But I would like to think, unless we have a catastrophe of an injury list, that if we’re 12 points ahead this year we won’t lose it.’